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Orion Montgomery
Orion Montgomery
Name : Orion T. Montgomery
Age : 26
Height : 6'8"
Weight : 283 lbs
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
Alliance : N/A
Crew : The Vintage Horde
Ship : N/A
Crew Role : Antiquarian
Devil Fruit : Arai Arai no Mi (Rough-Rough Fruit)
Quality Score : S+
Balance : [bel] 18,050,000
Posts : 42

[Episode] It's What You Leave Behind.... Empty [Episode] It's What You Leave Behind....

This post has in-line assessment comments.Mon Nov 27, 2023 11:18 am
Quest Request:

Freedom. The idea had seemed so elusive to Orion for much of his life. Now though… Now that it was looking him straight in the face and calling for him. Calling him up in a much wider world. He found his feet far heavier than he could have anticipated.

Orion chuckled half-heartedly, more to force down a sob than for any good cheer. He did see the humor though. Despite knowing better. Despite knowing good things don’t last. That good things can’t last. He had fallen in love with this place.

He had felt safe within the manor’s walls of rich mahogany, gilded with gold filigree and lovingly adorned in restored art and carefully preserved tapestries from times of antiquity. He had grown comfortable in the plush hug of refurbished furniture provided by those smooth lacquered handles and expertly woven silks. His restless mind was soothed to calmness by rhythmic tick tocking of vintage clocks and machines, numerous beyond measure that took any space upon every free shelf, cabinet or bookshelf. The cacophony was a constant companion, assuring him this place surely was not a dream.

The last decade in this home of his foster father, Nato Bona’fide, had been a glimpse at a life Orion didn’t think could exist. Nato was..

’Is…’ Orion corrected, catching himself lest that line of thinking paralyze him here.

’Just because you are leaving does not mean he is gone. Does not mean it is gone.’

[dass]Nato is a man larger than life[cmt]The change in tense is used for great dramatic effect here, so this is more a commentary than an assessment.

The use of present tense places your narrator at a very specific moment in time, which, as you are likely aware, can be dangerous if not used sparingly and with purpose. While the usage here is well-executed, I'd be careful about continuing to do so in future threads.[/cmt][/dass]. Perhaps, the man’s giant’s blood affected his personality as well, because he tackled everything with such great fervor and passion, Orion had been astounded into admiration. With a heart to match his size, Nato is beloved by his friends and employees. Orion did not know his birth father but, he thought, he had to imagine someone as a father, Nato would have been his image.

Nato is as round as he is tall and the man bore a presence the weight of a mountain. Deep purple hair, a matching whimsical mustache and clothing styled vintage, Nato is an eccentric man.  His hands far larger than his proportions should allow were both a deadly weapon and instrument of affection. Orion shuddered as he recalled how he had first met Nato, those slaps of his screamed of danger.

Orion sighed as he forced himself to keep packing. He knew he shouldn’t dally. Already he could hear Don Papa Dom’s men pounding on Nato’s manor doors. Again, that man was taking something from him. First his childhood, then his brothers and sisters, and now…his home.
He didn’t have much in the way of material possessions, despite Nato’s wealth, and still he felt like he had more than he could have ever asked for.

Orion slung a simple satchel over his shoulder, it carried some pocket money, a matching sleeveless duster to the one he currently wore, and a book titled ‘ ‘Winslow Barthelowmew’s Insights and Tidbits: How to be a Pirate for Dum-Dums and Ding-Dongs!’.

A black scarf as long as he is tall, at six foot eight, he wrapped around his neck, its remaining length tasseling back behind him like twin tails. Next he grabbed a metal umbrella, again matching his height. It was an inspired choice for a weapon Orion thought, that complimented his Devil Fruit’s medley of powers. With a slate gray canopy of interlocking steel plates, and a thick haft of similar steel to support its bulk and weight, the umbrella weapon was an imposing item. Orion hefted it easily, and with a flourish that spoke of burgeoning familiarity he attached it to his back Held there by no apparent means, yet still fastened securely.

With all of his things accounted for, Orion made to leave. Shoving his hands into his pockets he felt a wad of paper tucked within.

’That’s right.’ With all the craziness, Orion had nearly forgotten that Nato had indeed shoved a list into his hands. Orion couldn’t resist taking a glance…


”Tsk. That giant mo-” Orion started grumbling only to be interrupted by a voice behind him.

[npc=misc]”Ahem. Perhaps, the Young Master is simply overwhelmed by the circumstances of the day…”[/npc]

Orion flinched. He hadn’t noticed Jeeves Jeeverson standing in his doorway. Then again, Orion has never caught the Mink as he appeared. Orion turned to face his visitor.

Jeeves had the animalistic features of a Red Panda, his Mink heritage in stark display. Incredibly soft and well-groomed fur of rich auburn and burgundy stood in contrast to the crisp black and white tuxedo he wore at all times. Bleach white gloves covered dangerous claws and a freshly cut rose matching the hue of his fur lay clipped to his lapel. A thick tail banded in that same auburn and burgundy stretched out behind him to nearly the same length as his height. The Mink was a slight man, miniscule even when not compared to Nato or Orion, but Orion would never underestimate Nato’s right-hand, bodyguard and self-appointed butler.

Jeeves Jeeverson:

Orion has always been curious towards the Mink’s proclivities and after having never seen Nato treat the man as a servant, he had voiced his unspoken question to Nato…

“APPROVAL SLAP!!!” The boisterous man shouted, for all that the slap amounted to a hair ruffle on much younger Orion.

“It is good to be curious! Trululu! Young Orion, see–” Nato bent over so that he was eye level with Orion, wide smile on his face. Lilac irises met Orion’s steel-gray.

“Jeeves believes there is no higher calling in life than to live in service of another. Trululu, what kind of friend, nay… family! What kind of family would we be if we denied his deepest wish!?”
Orion had never rebutted Jeeves again when he was called young master.

”Geez, Jeeves… even on a day like this?” Orion waved his words away.

[npc=misc]”Especially on days like this! You mustn’t forget your lessons in propriety, it is ignoble to do so.”[/npc] The butler mink chastised, bowing gracefully as he did so.

”What noble? I’m a street rat, wahaha!” Orion pounded his chest and stuck his head up proudly.

Orion could have sworn he didn’t take his eyes off the red-panda man, but in a flash of orange fur he vanished, only to reappear just as suddenly before Orion. Floating briefing at face level, before gravity would demand the differences in their height be known once more.

[npc=misc]”Nobility is born in action, Young Master, not in blood.”[/npc] Jeeves fidgeted with the collar of Orion’s duster before patting him gently on the chest.

”So… fake it til you make it, Jeeves?” Orion asked as Jeeves landed silently upon the floor. Padded paws and thick fur muffling most potential sound, grace and agility handling any that remain.

[npc=misc]”Just so, Young Master.”[/npc] Jeeves allowed himself a chuckle hidden behind small paws. [dass]Perhaps, it would do to let Orion dance around what he was trying to impart, he knew the boy had picked up on the subtext despite completely refusing to acknowledge it[cmt]There's a sudden change in PoV here. It's best to avoid head-hopping when writing from the third-person limited perspective.[/cmt][/dass].

”What brings you here, Jeeves? I’d have thought you were with Nato to greet our ‘guests’.” Orion didn’t even try to hide the disdain in his voice. Jeeves surely noticed but mercifully said nothing.

[npc=misc]”Alas this one must soon return to his duties but I wished to leave you with a final gift from Lord Bona’fide.”[/npc]

From within his evening coat pocket, Jeeves pulled out a dingy, beaten and rusted pocket watch. Its chain is a mismatch of different metallic links–copper on iron on silver on gold–while the casing was marked by time, age, and wear with scratches, rust and discoloration.

Orion’s eyes widened at its appearance.

”What? Why? That’s his most precious treasure. Jeeves, you know I can’t take this!”

[npc=misc]”[ass=That is very wholesome.]It is not his most precious treasure, Young Master[/ass].”[/npc] Jeeves stared at Orion leadingly. He gestured to the watch in his hand.

[npc=misc]”If I may?”[/npc]

Orion gulped and [dass]shook his head yes[cmt]I think you mean 'nodded'? You shake your head no in most cultures, not yes.[/cmt][/dass]. He knew what Jeeves meant, but, should he respond, Orion was afraid he would never be able to force himself to leave. Long locks of light-green hair, bordering on white, fell about his face at the motion, blessedly hiding the tears that rimmed his eyes. Orion did as Jeeves bid and leaned forward deeply such that this short mink-man could reach his [dass]inner breast pocket and tuck the watch away, clasping the pin to Orion’s lapel[cmt]This may be intentional, but that is not how pocket watches are typically worn.[/cmt][/dass].

Jeeves stepped back satisfied.

[npc=misc]”Perhaps, this is Lord Bona’fide’s way of ensuring you return to us. No?”[/npc]

Orion couldn’t help but play his conversation with Jeeves over and over again within his head as he walked down an old tunnel. Those two bastards sure knew how to pull at Orion’s heartstrings, but it had the intended effect. Orion would return.  

The tunnel had seen better days. Connected to Nato’s Bona’fide’s manor house and an assorted number of warehouses and factories. Nato had theorized, upon its discovery, that they had served as an efficient method of transit for factory goods and products to be assembled. The tunnels had long fallen into disrepair before Nato bought out the factory above and renovated it into his home.

Rail tracks lay pitted and rusted along its length while sections that branched off the main thoroughfare were completely caved in. Orion knew Nato had commissioned the cave-ins upon its discovery, but felt that an escape route unknown to most of Spider Miles was a welcome trump card. His foresight seemed to be paying off.

Following the tunnel along its bend, with only the light from his lantern as a companion, Orion was left to his thoughts. Why were the Don and his mafia here? Surely, if they knew of Orion they would not have resorted to knocking, but what else could they want?

Orion shook his head. He didn’t know enough to speculate.

Soon enough, the light of Orion’s lantern edged out a solid iron door protecting stairs that led upwards into an old storage building Nato purchased to hide the escape route. It didn’t hurt that the storage building could hold Nato’s goods.

”You sure we should be doing this, Boss Juice?” A feminine voice carried through cracks in the door hatch.

Orion paused with his hand on the door handle. In just a few more seconds, he would have barged right into the thick of [ass=Lapse in tense.]a group of people who should not be here[/ass].

[npc=pirt]”Eh?! Is your daddy da Boss, eh eh, Suzy? EH?! Zats right, didn’t think so. Now-za gets backs to searching, eh.”[/npc]

[dass]”Yo, Boss Juice! This it?!”[cmt]You may have noticed that your opening quotation marks always curve the wrong way (and thus look like closing quotation marks). You may also have realized that it happens because of the BBCode opening tag being adjoined to your dialogue. Here's a pro tip you may not have realized: You can replace curly quotes with straight quotes in the future by turning off "smart quotes" in your word processor.[/cmt][/dass]

[npc=pirt]”You idiotz! Thas just a portrait of an ol’ lady, eh.”[/npc]

”I’ll just toss it then, Boss Juice.”

Orion couldn’t contain himself.

”Hurgh–” A door met Suzy face to frame, a footprint sized dent in its surface.

[npc=pirt]”Wazzat now—EH?!”[/npc] Surprise darkened the intruder’s features, as they watched Suzy get smashed by a heavy iron door. [dass]A foot twitched erratically as the dust settled[cmt]This makes me think he wasn't wearing shoes or took one off to kick the door, lmao.[/cmt][/dass].

”Toss it? TOSS IT?!” Orion fumed, shouting from the doorway. Anger flushed his fair skin.

”That’s a first edition Leonerdi Da Chintzy! And you want to just TOSS IT?!”

Orion stormed properly into the storage facility. A simple rectangular warehouse roughly the size of a [dass]football field[cmt]I don't think this comparison makes as much sense in this world. There is no standardized sport called "football".[/cmt][/dass] stretched out in front of him Steel beams held up a flat roof two stories up. Dim fluorescent lighting lit every even row of boxes, crates, cargo, and barrels of assorted goods. A single light flickered with dwindling energy, casting shadows across the space like a lone torch standing sentry over a treasure crypt.

Barring the person now sandwiched between the floor and a displaced metal door. Two other people stood to attention at Orion’s impromptu knocking. One was nondescript in the literal sense of the word, a face that would disappear in a crowd. A person whose most defining feature is how impossibly average they seemed by every metric.

The other consumed the space around them with their sheer mass. As round as they were tall, and yet Orion found himself craning his neck even from his distance away. Barrel chested and with his many layers of skin and fat, the man seemed more akin to a lumbering mountain of flesh. Despite his mass and obesity, thickly powerful and well-defined muscles on his arms and legs pressed up against the seams of his clothes, foreshadowing the deadly weight this man could bring to bear.

Bro Juice Dom:

[npc=pirt]”Eh?! Wazzat yous think yous doing da Juice’s peeps, eh?! Only Juice can smash Juice’s peeps, eh eh.”[/npc] Juice smashed his meatball hands together in a show of alpha dominance.

”I think that’s the wrong point, Boss Juice.”

[npc=pirt]”Zats right. Eh. Yous be trespaxxing–”[/npc]

”You mean trespassing, Boss Juice.”

[npc=pirt]”Zats right, eh. Tank yous, boyo eh eh.”[/npc] Juice nodded cordially at his minion, before about facing back into fury at Orion. The many folds of fat upon his face following his emotional transitions like ripples on the surface of water.

Orion tilted his head and crossed his arms.

[npc=pirt]”Wazzat that, eh?! Yous profilin’ me, eh? Its important tos foster independent thinkers within a collectives group likes us, eh eh.”[/npc]

”I don’t think that is what he is confused about, Boss Juice.”

[npc=pirt]”Zats right. Dis ‘ere is my Boss Daddy Dom’s turf nowa, eh. Dis means your trespax– trespassing, eh eh.”[/npc]

Orion blinked, but he felt his anger fizzle at the mention of Don Papa Dom. Now that he paid closer attention, they were all showing the signs of the family. Fitted, all-white suits with a gold ascot bearing the sigil of the family—a gun with a fork loaded in the barrel.

‘Juice’ Dom hadn’t cleared anything up, but if this guy wanted to talk… [ass=Another lapse in tense.]perhaps Orion should use this opportunity[/ass] to milk it for what it’s worth.

”Huh? Isn’t this the storage building of Nato ‘The Collector’ Bona’fide?”

[npc=pirt]”Zats right, eh eh.”[/npc] Juice once more nodded, this time vigorously and Orion felt he was talking to a bulldog with the way the man’s face bounced.

”You got to expound more, Boss Juice.”

[npc=pirt]”Zats right, eh. Tanks again, boyo, eh eh. See ‘ere, Boss Daddy needs dis Collectserz to getz sumthin’ fer ‘im, eh eh. So’s centz he’s gunza be workinz fer da Boss Daddy, he’s partz of da family nowa, eh eh.”[/npc]

Orion narrowed his eyes. It did make sense, he guessed, in a twisted sort of way. The type of logic-jump anyone bred for organized crime would be conditioned to develop.

”…Okay. But what are you looking to do here, specifically?”

[npc=pirt]”Boss Daddy be lookin’ fer sumthin, eh. Dis Collectserz collects, eh eh. So I is tinkin dis Collectserz already gotz want da Boss Daddy wants, eh eh?” [/npc] Juice looked mighty proud of this idea, tapping thick sausage finger against his chunky noggin

[npc=pirt]”Yous gots ta show initiative ta gets ahead in the family, eh eh.”[/npc]

”Hmmm… I see? What is he looking for?” Orion clenched his fists, knuckles starching white at the tension. It couldn’t be?

Juice reared up and smiled, [ass=Love the imagery and metaphor usage.]wide and flat teeth that reminded Orion of bovine. His grin impressing upon Orion the smugness of a child in on a secret[/ass]. His companion, also caught up in Juice’s shift in attitude, leaned forward imperceptibly eager to hear something of substance from his leader's mouth.

[npc=pirt]”Zats right, eh. Boss Daddy is lookin fer….”[/npc] Juice drew out the tension. And out, and out, and out….

”Boss Juice?”

[npc=pirt]”Was dat, boyo?”[/npc]

”You… don't know. Do you?”

[npc=pirt]”Eh? Teehee…”[/npc] Juice had the audacity to look bashful when his friend and minion ran a hand over their face in exasperation.

Orion felt himself sigh and release a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Of course they weren’t looking for him. He had just fled from Nato so that they wouldn’t discover him. For all intents and purposes, they think him dead and if they had thought otherwise, Orion was positive they wouldn’t have arrived in such mild-mannered fashion. This just happened to be a case of a seriously unfortunate coincidence.

Orion knew better to push his luck. He definitely needed to leave before he incriminated himself, or by association, his foster father. Before he could muse further, Orion was pulled from his thoughts at the sound of the growing argument happening in front of him. Now was a good time to slip away.

”Huh. Well, bye.”

Interrupted but not distracted the pair responded absentmindedly as their focus remained on one another.



Not one to stand on ceremony, Orion shrugged and started walking away. He heard an involuntary whisper of displaced air and watched Suzy’s foot twitch as the door shifted from his weight.

Maybe it was the subtle groan of metal, or Suzy’s shuddering breath, or just the situation finally catching up with them.

[npc=pirt]”Boyo, I does appreciates yous insights but-”[/npc] Juice’s eye twitched.

”Uh..Boss Juice?”

[npc=pirt]”Nots nowa, boyo. I is tryin’ to impart wisdoms.”[/npc]

”But Boss-”

[npc=pirt]”Boyo, whiles I does likez your penchant fer independent think–”[/npc]


[npc=pirt]”Idiotz boyo, wazzat? Eh?”[/npc]

”The intruder is getting away…” He pointed towards Orion.

Orion just smiled and hummed innocently.

There was a brief pause of pregnant silence. Orion looked at Juice and Juice looked at Orion. He watched as Juice’s face move ponderously slow from confusion to surprise to anger.

With the suddenness of a rockslide, Juice bursts into motion. Slowly at first, like those tumbling rocks before inertia and momentum of powerful tree-trunk legs carried him faster and faster. Orion felt the earth quake at his steps and can’t help but wonder if there had been a better way to go about this.
Unfortunately, the time for regrets had passed as Juice had quickly chewed up the distance. Juice’s pants bellowed as he leapt impossibly high for a man of his stature. The blubber on his legs had undulated like the water of a breaking wave from the downward force of his jump.

[npc=pirt]”Juice Crash!”[/npc]

Orion traced the path of his spring and moved to dodge. Quickly moving backwards to avoid the titanic crash that was to follow. He did not move quickly enough. Juice landed with the force of a meteor, smashing into the edge of the metal door that Orion was stepping off. Like a seesaw that used Suzy as a fulcrum, Orion could not hope to match Juice's weight and the weight of his momentum.


He found himself sent flying through the storage building.

Crashing through crates and barrels, each ratcheting cuts along his body. His momentum sent him soaring through the building’s nearest wall and out into Spider Miles proper. Tumbling end over end as he crashed through cobblestone streets and street side stalls. Like a pinball, his body bounced, once… twice… three times, each leaving long furrows of upturned stone and mud.

Eventually, physics won and he slowed. His vision no longer a blur of streaming color as he lay facing towards the sky.

Cloudy skies of dark gray mixed with bruise purple covered the roof of the world. The bog-like stench of pollution and the ever present haze of factory smoke filtered out into the dreariness of the day. Screams of surprise and fear floated around Orion like the whispers of dream. His daze-like state, a short moment of silence, before the rumble of heavy feet forced him to rise.

Juice had followed Orion’s soaring form. He blew through the streets, sending people and objects flying as they broke before his bulk.

Orion shook the last vestiges of confusion from his mind as he commanded himself to focus. He reached for that locus of power that sat within him. It was like an invisible limb, so familiar to him, for all that it was forced upon him. Devil fruits were like that, he thought. A power that becomes a part of you with even the smallest bite. It felt more like connecting with something hidden but present rather than something externally given.

”Barterer’s Stance: Vintage Collection… Silkskin Boots!” Orion grunted out.

He channeled his intention into the ground below him. Feeling the rough stone and clay shift to something smooth, slippery, and silk-like. Kicking off, Orion dashed forwards at Juice, [ass=Aha, he wasn't wearing shoes after all.]his bare feet surfing over ground like skates on ice[/ass].

He planted his left foot hard into the ground to turn and dash on a dime. His speed carried him up a near wall until he ran parallel with the street, and most importantly high above his foe. Orion leapt. A mirror to Juice’s actions just moments ago, he intended to use the man's incredible forward momentum against him.

”Yardsale Stance–” Orion whipped his Umbrella from his back, shifting his grip down the haft for a swift strike.

”Vintage Collection - RUSTY MACE!” Orion spun his giant umbrella around. An overhead swing towards Juice’s face. He pushed at that power within and felt the surface of the umbrella roughen, turn jagged, and coarse.

Juice watched with widening eyes. With agility belying his size, he shoved his hand into a nearby wall and pulled himself out of the path of Orion’s swing. Orion’s swing carried him past, while his umbrella’s rutted surface rended a strip of Juice’s all-white suit. and landed on Juice’s side, facing away from the man. Without missing a beat and with Silkskin Boots still active, Orion twirled adroitly.

He drug his massive umbrella against the uneven ground, its pitted and irregular surface akin to sandpaper, heating from the friction and swiftly growing red hot. Juice was in too compromised a position to move again and could only watch as Orion planted his feet –securing them by some unseen force- and swung upwards from knee to chin with dangerous power.

”Vintage Collection - Obsidian AXE!!”

A smoldering heat and sharp edge ripped through Juice and sent him stumbling backwards. His wound looked charred around the edges as though burned by something scalding hot, while the path of the umbrella cut a perfectly even line through his flesh. Juice was surprised Orion cut so easily with such a blunt object, disregarding how thick his magnificent form is. Thick tides of blood pumped from his wound and he could only stifle it with his large dinner plate hands.

Panting heavily, Orion stared down Juice from his kneeling form roughly ten feet away. Juice held his wound but was already rising to his feet. His blow had not been enough.

”Of course a big fuck would take big effort.”

He grabbed a rock from the ground and pushed. Orion could see how the rock shifted in his mind, but visually, the surface seemed to ground smooth like river rock. He slid it along the edge of his umbrella, and where it passed the edge of his umbrella shined with a blade like edge.

”Come then.” He taunted. ”Vintage Collection… Pristine Whetstone.”

Orion raised one hand out before him and slid into a balanced stance, his umbrella lifted high over head.

Juice had not been idle. Like a springboard, he slammed his hands into the ground and threw himself forward with all the raging power of a locomotive.

[npc=pirt]”Juice Squeeze!”[/npc] Juice dive-tackled Orion, blowing through his attempt to strike.

Orion felt himself once more dragged through the ground as Juice pressed him into stone. Meat-mallet fists slammed upon his face in a staccato rhythm of violent delight. Just as the blows slowed, his head was caught in a vice-like grip by stubby fingers that gripped the entirety of his skull.

Orion barely held on to his umbrella as he was slammed headfirst into the ground and then chucked through the window of a nearby shop, glass shattering as his body ricocheted through shelfs of fine china and pottery.

Blood dripped from cuts along Orion’s face and arms. His scarf had fallen away to reveal deep claw mark scars around his neck and pieces of broken glass tore littered his body with tiny abrasions.

Orion could make out Juice’s approach through the clouds of dust and debris. The man was relentless in his assault.

Orion made a clumsy swing at Juice through the dust cloud, only to have his umbrella caught by Juice. A small line of blood pooling from the larger man’s hand detailing just how sharp an edge Orion had manipulated into the umbrella.

[npc=pirt]”Eh Eh. Devil Fruit userz alwayz be relyzing too much on dat fruitz, eh.”[/npc]

[npc=pirt]”Juice Crash!”[/npc] A massive fist collided with Orion’s face and his world went black.

Orion could not have been unconscious for long, he figured. The area showed stark details of his combat and a trail of blood streaked out behind him. He floated, draped across Juice’s broad shoulder like a sack of potatoes, while his umbrella, luckily, drug behind them–attached as it was to a long chain that wrapped around his wrist.

Juice hadn’t noticed him stirring yet. He would need to be quick and deadly.

Silently, he forced his clothes to grow slick with a lack of friction.

[npc=pirt]”Eh?”[/npc] Despite Juice’s protest and his attempt otherwise. Orion slid through his fingers like an eel. Dropping behind the man, and pulling the umbrella towards him in a single motion.

He spun and flared out the canopy, dropping behind its wide shade and ramping up the friction of its surface as far as he could possibly manage in his addled state. Like a turtle in its shell, he weathered the storm of heavy blows from Juice’s fists. [dass]The impact dulled as heavy friction upon the umbrellas surface bled the force away[cmt]I can't say this application makes a whole lot of sense. Increasing friction wouldn't make an object any less brittle or more structurally sound. If anything, reducing friction and deftly redirecting punches would be more sensible here.[/cmt][/dass].

Orion could hear splatters of blood smacking the streets as Juice’s fists destroyed themselves against his weapon’s canopy. Orion felt his moment to act instinctively. As Juice slowed, at a pause in his rhythm, perhaps to catch his breath or perhaps to reassess and try a different approach, Orion launched himself into action.

He threw out a testing bash, knocking the massive man off balance. Spinning into the swing, he did a full rotation, raking his umbrella again against the ground. Sparks flew, and heat blossomed along its length.

”AGAIN!” He screamed, his words echoing off the stone paved streets. ”VINTAGE COLLECTION - OBSIDIAN AXE!”

Orion felt his umbrella collide with Juice’s round stomach. The opposing force of Orion’s swing and Juice’s weight seemed to stop briefly, momentums canceling one another, before Juice's feet left the ground and he was blasted backwards. Rolling and tumbling he tore up the ground and was buried beneath collapsing walls and crumbling stone.

Juice didn’t rise again.

Calloused fingers drummed against a well-maintained desk. Polished to a shine, the rich mahogany spoke of influence and wealth.

”So…” Hard eyes glinted at those bowing before him. A visible shudder of fear quaked through the trio at the sound of his voice.

The trio was distinctly recognizable. One looked suitably flattened as if hit by something heavy, another appeared unharmed and remarkably average, while the last towered over the other two covered in bandages drenched with clotted blood. He dwarfed the other members of the room, yet his presence could not compare to the owner of the voice who sat behind that immaculate desk.

The Don, Papa Dom, sat comfortably within a deep and majestic office chair. Perfectly tanned leather the color of aged whiskey with smoothly sculpted armrests the shape of handguns with a fork jutting from its barrel. The Don had been adamant about that part. He was particular about his things. Everything he owned should bear his symbol. Everything. The Don was meticulous with his appearance. He appeared well manicured with salt and pepper hair and a pristine stark white suit, crisp and wrinkle free. The mob boss looked more a gentleman noble than any underground mafioso.

”So… You lost.” While the man appeared calm, his voice a steady smooth baritone, the fire in his purple eyes appeared anything but. He slammed his drumming hand onto the desk with a loud bang. Throwing his other hand outwards, the objects flew from their place on the desk to the nearest wall.

”Not only did you lose. You may have compromised our tenuous relationship with the Collector.”

Another shudder went through the trio and they kept their heads down, avoiding his gaze. Juice collected his courage and opened his mouth to speak.

[npc=pirt]”Butz Daddy Dom–”[/npc]

”[dass]SILENCE! CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT USEFUL, ARE NOT HEARD[cmt]Great line for a villain.[/cmt][/dass].” The Don raised his voice at his child’s insolence. His voice warped his face into something demonic. The wrinkles of his face drew out the vicious mockery of a smile.

”Ahem…” Another voice brokered out in the silence.

A man appeared from the shadows, seemingly without effort, nor notice from the other room's occupants. Perhaps always there and waiting for the right moment, or aided by the dancing shadows stemming from the roaring fire of a massive stone fireplace that rested nestled against the lacquered paneled walls.

”Ah! Uncle Juniper. A pleasure, dear brother. What have we learned?” Instantaneously, the Don’s face shifted into something pleasant as he addressed the new occupant. So quick was the transition, the Don’s early anger appeared almost an illusion.

”The man’s description matches. The Doc confirmed it.” Juniper placed a set of documents on Papa Dom’s desk. The topmost sheet being a photo of young Orion smiling and surrounded by a motley crew of other orphans. Papa Dom noticed the twisted smile of Doc Van-Dyke as he hovered in the background.

”After assessing the area, we found a tunnel leading towards the Collector’s residence. It’s apparent now that he has been shielding the boy and caring for him in secret. Stealing family resources is a serious offense. Shall I send out The Enforcers?” Juniper smiled wickedly then, as if plotting something truly despicable.

The grin that matched on the Don’s face had Juniper’s hope growing, but unsurprisingly, he shook his head. Always the pragmatic one, that Papa Dom.

”No. We still need the Collector. The difficulty of our search would increase exponentially without his resources. Better to make use of him before disposal.”

Juniper nodded, having expected such an answer.

”What of the boy? Of Orion?”

”Hmmm. Juice!” Papa Dom belted out Juice’s name. Juice quickly jumped to attention, a rigid pose of fear sending his excess jiggling.

[npc=pirt]”Eeeee! Eh, yeah? Boss Daddy?”[/npc]

”You shall have one chance to redeem yourself. Return to me this failed experiment. Alive.”

[npc=pirt]”Eh. Eh! Youz can countz on me!”[/npc] He slapped his chest forcefully, despite his injuries, pushing down the wince at his action.

”No. No, I don't believe I can. I will not leave this to chance. You will be watched.”

Before Juice can contemplate what his father meant.

”Archie! Juice meet your minder, and your newest brother… Archie! No… I should say Brother Basil Dom!”

Orion rested wearily against a pile of trash. He pants soaked through by mud and stormwater runoff. He leaned his head back and let the sludge thickened raindrops cool his face. He didn’t  mind the mess he lay in, his thoughts were caught on other things.

”Fuuccckk… That sucked.”

He had made too big a splash. They would be looking for him now, no doubt. He had to leave, lest he make Nato’s situation any more difficult.

A pigeon flew overhead, landing briefly on a building’s soffit. It stared down at him and cocked its head.

”You… you fuck… Heh.. how familiar.” As if startled by his voice, the bird took off into the skies. Gone just as fast.

Perhaps, he needed that reminder. Perhaps not. That bird made him feel that similar heat, that similar resolve, that he had experienced so long ago. He rose to his feet and forced a smile.

A memory tickled the back of his mind. Something Nato had said, about a place to lay low and figure out next steps.

Orion knew just where to go.

Word Count:
The Conqueror / Black Fist
Name : Gray
Epithet : "The Conqueror" / "Black Fist"
Age : 49
Height : 10'2" (310 cm)
Weight : 1043 lbs (473 kg)
Species : Cyborg Human
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Lurking Legend (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Sangria's Vane (Destroyed)
Crew Role : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Bounty : [ber=r] 5,000,000,000
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Income Bonus : +0.20
Shop Discount : -30%
Balance : [bel] 25,000,000,000

Posts : 3840

[Episode] It's What You Leave Behind.... Empty Quest Grading

This post has in-line assessment comments.Mon Dec 11, 2023 11:25 pm


Quality Score (Re)assessment: Yes


Orion Montgomery:


Orion Montgomery:

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